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February 14, 2023

Former Philadelphia Eagle player awarded $43.5 million in medical malpractice case

The jury found that Dr. James Bradley and Rothman Orthopaedics' oversight while treating Chris Maragos's knee injury let to the end of his NFL career

Former Philadelphia Eagle Chris Maragos has been awarded $43.5 million by the jury in his malpractice lawsuit against the medical team that treated the player's knee injury.

Maragos, who tore his posterior cruciate ligament during the Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl-winning season, had alleged medical negligence against Dr. James Bradley and Rothman Orthopaedics. Maragos and his lawyers claimed the doctors missed that that player also had a torn meniscus, and the failure to treat that injury resulted in the end of Maragos' NFL career.

"On Sunday, my team played in the (Super Bowl), and I could only watch and wonder whether I could have been out there with them had I received proper medical care," Maragos said in a press release from his legal team. "While I live in constant pain and will never get back on the field, I hope this decision sends a message to teams' medical staffs that players are people, not just contracts."

Maragos' initial injury happened during a game against the Carolina Panthers in October 2017, and his posterior cruciate ligament was surgically repaired by Bradley. An MRI in 2018 revealed that his knee had not healed properly, his attorneys said. Despite the MRI results, the former Eagles safety began to advance his rehab, which he alleged led to more complications in his knee.

"Rather than prioritize Chris' health, his medical team hastily advanced his activities – including running on dry land – which ended an amazing NFL career and started him down a path of pain, suffering, immobility and several future knee replacements," attorney Dion G. Rassias said. "This case and this jury may have changed the course of history by now forcing these team doctors and trainers to stop worrying about when a player might return to play and start thinking about the next 50 years of a player's life."

Bradley and the team of medical professionals who worked with Maragos during rehab said that the meniscus was stable, and they felt surgery was not the right option, the Washington Post reported

Since the initial injury and surgery, Maragos has had two more surgeries and is currently looking into having his knee replaced because of the pain he endures daily.

"I'm a surgeon — that's what I do," Bradley, who is the orthopedic surgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, testified. "If I had to operate on that, I'd operate on that in a heartbeat."

Former Eagles Nick Foles, Trey Burton and Jordan Hicks testified in the two-week trial presided by Common Pleas Judge Charles J. Cunningham III.

"The timing of the trial, between the Eagles' NFC championship and Super Bowl loss, as well as the star-studded witness list, had an enormous impact," Bradley's attorney John C. Conti said following the verdict.

Bradley must pay $29.2 million to Maragos, and Rothman is responsible for the remaining $14.3 million, the Inquirer reported

After going undrafted in 2010, Maragos spent his first NFL season with the San Francisco 49ers. He played the next three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before signing a three-year, $4 million contract with the Eagles in 2014. Before getting hurt during the 2017 season, Maragos was named a special teams captain. However, he never recovered enough to play for the Eagles again and retired in 2019 after his release. 

"We're really grateful and thankful for the outcome," Maragos said. "We had the truth on our side, and the jury saw it."